Are CBD Products a Potential Treatment for Postpartum Depression?

The curiosity around postpartum depression is rising – and many sufferers are in search of safe solutions.

Here’s what you need to know about the use of CBD products to ease postpartum depression. 

Did you know that about one in ten women experiences some degree of postpartum depression from the time of giving birth for up to five years, if not treated properly?

In fact, this number can be as many as one in five in some places. The cases of postnatal depression are highly misunderstood due to the nature of its symptoms.

It can be easily confused for baby blues, lack of sleep, anxiety, etc. Another reason for it to be unreported or untreated is the stigma surrounding it. 

Firstly, dealing with depression is challenging, and the additional responsibility of having a newborn can get in the way of gathering your emotions.

Well, thanks to social media, many celebrities and influencers are coming forward to talk about the reality of postpartum depression to spread more awareness amongst new parents.

Naturally, the subject is becoming less stigmatized and more mothers are now seeking safe solutions to treat PPD. Before we jump into options of treatments, let’s familiarize you with the symptoms, causes, and diagnosis of postpartum depression. 

What Is Postpartum Depression (PPD)? 

Postpartum depression (PPD) is another name for postnatal depression. It is categorized as a type of mood swing or disorder associated with giving birth.

The simplest way to identify even the mildest symptoms of PPD is not feeling like yourself emotionally and mentally. It is very common for women to feel vulnerable, sad, anxious, and emotionally down after they have given birth.

However, these feelings are mostly referred to as “baby blues”—particularly if they only last for a week or two. If they last longer than a span of two weeks or more, they could be considered to be the first symptoms of postpartum depression.  

There is a very thin line between baby blues and PPD. It’s important for us to clearly state some of the signs and symptoms of PPD to eliminate the confusion around it.

Common signs and symptoms of PPD may include:

  • Feeling down
  • Bonding with your baby becomes difficult
  • Fluctuations in your mood
  • Uncontrollable thoughts of harming your baby or yourself
  • Isolating from friends and family
  • Loss of appetite or overeating
  • Excessive crying
  • Lack of self-confidence
  • Sleep deprivation, insomnia, or sleeping too much
  • Lethargic or lack of energy
  • Disconnection from hobbies
  • Short-temper or anger issues
  • Doubting your parenting
  • Guilt or shame
  • Not being able to think or make decisions
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Violent thoughts of ending your life

Being diagnosed with PPD clinically is no different from a standard depressive episode, not only in the UK but all over the world. The symptoms are often similar to typical depression.

Hence the criteria of PPD diagnosis must be met before one qualifies for treatment. With so many rising cases of postpartum depression, it’s become more common for sufferers to explore their options of treatment.

This brings us to the main point of this article—why are wholesale cbd uk products being touted as an option for treating PPD? 

What is CBD?

Obviously, there’s a lot of curiosity around this subject, particularly for new mothers who are suffering from PPD. Many are exploring their treatment options and want to know whether consuming CBD is safe. Before we dig deeper, let’s look at what CBD is. 

The real term is cannabidiol. Known as CBD, it is the second most common active ingredient in cannabis (marijuana). Components of CBD are extracted from the hemp plant—referred to as the cousin of marijuana.

It is an essential chemical found in medical marijuana that doesn’t contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana that gives you a high. 

Usually, CBD is prescribed in the form of an oil, but there are other forms of consumption such as vaporized liquid or oil-based capsules in the UK. CBD oil is amongst the most popular ones.

There are many CBD-infused food items, drinks, and even beauty products that are now available all over the world. Prescription-based CBD oil is becoming an effective treatment alternative for conditions like Parkinson’s disease, seizures, schizophrenia, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and anxiety.

However, there are still a lot of gaps that need to be filled by experts. In order to determine CBD’s benefits and safety, particularly for people diagnosed with PPD, let’s look at what experts have to say. 

Expert Advice

The only CBD oil that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the UK is an oil called Epidiolex. So far it is being prescribed by doctors to treat a type of epilepsy.

Other than this, many are also considering CBD oil as an alternative to prescription-based antidepressants. Having said that, the drug benefits are still in a gray zone because of research limitations. 

For new mothers, experts have advised that the first thing they need to do is reach out to their medical provider. Treatment should not be delayed, but it’s essential for patients to lean toward proven medical treatments.

Usually, there are three clearly defined approaches in the medical world: social support, psychotherapy, and medication. Mild symptoms of PPD can often be managed by seeking therapy through support groups or social circles.

Moderate or more serious symptoms need a more active course of medication. Currently, there are various options to choose from—but one should only consider options keeping safety in mind. 

What Does Science Say?

According to science, chemical components found in CBD have a calming and relaxing impact on the nervous system. This helps to alleviate anxiety and improve mood swings.

There is no credible source that vouches for the cure of PPD with the consumption of CBD, but there is some data that states that depression can be treated with CBD.

There are certain elements in CBD that impact the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in people by either switching them on or off. The objective of ECS is to balance stress and anxiety in humans.

Research shows that CBD enters the system to stimulate the more complex receptors with serotonin. Neurologically, the neurotransmitter serotonin is in charge of managing mood.

By impacting these receptors, CBD’s chemical components help to increase the functions of the brain by soothing the nerves.

Moreover, science has evidence that women diagnosed with PPD have a subtype of serotonin (5-HT1A) that is more challenging to connect to those neurotransmitters that release good and positive feelings. 

Is CBD safe for PPD?

This brings us to the main question—if CBD has the potential to treat PPD, and to what degree. Firstly, it is evident that power plants can have a negative impact if there’s a baby on the way.

This is applicable to breastfeeding mothers. The receptors of ECS are spread throughout the entire body, which is connected to other receptors. However, the effects of consuming CBD, in the long run, are still unknown, particularly for expecting and breastfeeding mothers.

We highly recommend you discuss with your doctor before taking any form of CBD. In fact, it is advised to stay away from any CBD-based products during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

So does this mean that if you are not nursing or pregnant, CBD-based products are safe for you? There is no simple answer. Yes, if you are suffering from PPD, you are an ideal candidate for CBD oil, as it can help you with managing your depression.

It’s not just for depression, either; CBD oil has benefits for stress, anxiety, and chronic pain as well as insomnia. Whatever you decide, it is best to check with your doctor first.

The dose for beginners will obviously be small, but the exact amount of consumption should be advised by your physician.  

What Are the Best Ways to Explore and Use CBD?

If you are a beginner, then it’s best to sit down with your doctor to get a clear understanding of its benefits—especially if you are concerned about treating PPD.

The likelihood of your doctor not having enough knowledge about the use of CBD is common. There are many doctors who are not familiar with the chemical’s benefit for postpartum depression.

It’s okay to explore your options—maybe get a second medical opinion before coming to a decision. You might have to experiment a little bit with the dosage.

Start with the smallest possible option if you have to, and work your way up to see how well it works for you—emotionally, mentally, and physically.

If you get an okay from your doctor, you will obviously have more perspective. You will probably start off with a CBD oil which kicks in within 7-9 minutes of consumption.

Some other forms of CBD products are CBD gummies, tinctures, chocolates, lotions, etc. If you are opting for supplements like gummies, you should be aware that it can take up to 90 minutes for it to take effect.

For many people, this time frame could be too long, particular if you are suffering from anxiety and depression. The whole point of it is to get instant relief, which is why CBD oil is often preferred.

After you have found the perfect dose, you have the option of switching back to CBD gel or capsules, as they are easier for women to consume, according to data in the UK. 

Final Thoughts

It is important to factor in the degree of the diagnosis. Postpartum mood and anxiety disorders have a lot of layers. This means that PPD should be self-proclaimed. You must address your concerns with your doctor to get more evidence-based treatment.

Many cases get lost in transition, as it is more than just treating PPD, but is about pinpointing the loss of identity that many new parents face and struggle with.

CBD does not address those issues. Your life completely changes after you bring home the baby. Therefore seeking proper help for postpartum depression is essential if you want to be on the road to recovery.

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